Questions to ask before marrying

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Registered: 03-26-2003
Questions to ask before marrying
Wed, 01-03-2007 - 1:10pm

I found this article on the NY Times website and thought it was interesting. We see so many posts here where the couple could have avoided much conflict if they'd TALKED about issues before marrying or even staying together as BF/GF.

Relationship experts report that too many couples fail to ask each other critical questions before marrying. Here are a few key ones that couples should consider asking:

1) Have we discussed whether or not to have children, and if the answer is yes, who is going to be the primary care giver?

2) Do we have a clear idea of each other’s financial obligations and goals, and do our ideas about spending and saving mesh?

3) Have we discussed our expectations for how the household will be maintained, and are we in agreement on who will manage the chores?

4) Have we fully disclosed our health histories, both physical and mental?

5) Is my partner affectionate to the degree that I expect?

6) Can we comfortably and openly discuss our sexual needs, preferences and fears?

7) Will there be a television in the bedroom?

8) Do we truly listen to each other and fairly consider one another’s ideas and complaints?

9) Have we reached a clear understanding of each other’s spiritual beliefs and needs, and have we discussed when and how our children will be exposed to religious/moral education?

10) Do we like and respect each other’s friends?

11) Do we value and respect each other’s parents, and is either of us concerned about whether the parents will interfere with the relationship?

12) What does my family do that annoys you?

13) Are there some things that you and I are NOT prepared to give up in the marriage?

14) If one of us were to be offered a career opportunity in a location far from the other’s family, are we prepared to move?

15) Does each of us feel fully confident in the other’s commitment to the marriage and believe that the bond can survive whatever challenges we may face?

Also interesting was that the accompanying article says:

"For too many couples, the spouses-to-be assume that they know each other and the ground rules for their marriages, experts say. And sometimes those heading to the altar dodge important questions because they don’t want to rock the boat.

A commitment to fidelity, for example, is a crucial issue, but one that is rarely addressed, said Robert Scuka, the executive director of the National Institute of Relationship Enhancement in Bethesda, Md. “It’s important to make those implicit assumptions about fidelity explicit,” he said. “Once the commitment to faithfulness is made explicit, it becomes more difficult psychologically to engage rationalizations.”"

Yet that question (about what fidelity explicitly means to each partner) isn't on the list.

Anyway, some food for thought--I'm posting this on a few boards so please forgive the duplication.


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Registered: 10-13-2004
Wed, 01-03-2007 - 5:29pm

I think that's a great article. And Yes, DH and I covered all of those issues and were in 100% agreement. We didn't have a formal discussion, but just covered the issues in random conversations over the years.

Anyway, there are a couple of things I could add.

Firstly to number 8) Do we truly listen to each other and fairly consider one another’s ideas and complaints?"

I think it's also important to add that if a disagreement should arise, do both parties present their issue in a manner acceptable to the partner?

For example, I would not tolerate a partner who raised his voice or used insults in an arguement. Neither would I tolerate someone who angrily says things such as "you always/never..." For me, the ONLY acceptable form of problem solving is a calm, rational discussion where each partner gets to express their issue and is listened to. Anything less would be a dealbreaker.

The other thing that I believe should be on the list is "does your partner treat strangers with respect?"

I believe that a person who treats waitstaff with disdain or speaks patronisingly to someone with limited English is likely to use that tone with me eventually. Likewise, roadrage is something that would be a dealbreaker with me. I don't care if the other driver cut you off, we all make mistakes and if yelling at someone who errs is acceptable, again, it's only a matter of time before I will be on the receiving end if I make a mistake.

Dress Up Games, Doll Makers and Cartoon Dolls @ The Doll Palace
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 01-04-2007 - 2:24am
Sheri - I think this is great information, thanks for sharing! I think Aisha's comments are really good ones too.

With your permission, I'll leave this here for a few days or so, to get more response, then I'll ask that it be moved to the "Information and Resources" section so it will stay available for everyone to find.

Great stuff~

~ cl-2nd_life

"Experience is what you get
When you don't get what you want"

~ Author unknown

"Ignoring the facts
does not change the facts"
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Registered: 02-15-2005
Thu, 01-04-2007 - 10:50am


I think that's a great article, too.

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Registered: 11-29-2006
Wed, 06-10-2009 - 1:07pm


iVillage Member
Registered: 05-14-2001
Thu, 03-10-2011 - 11:16am

~ cl-2nd_life